Sri Lankan shares snap 11-day rally as financials, telecoms weigh

Sept 23 (Reuters) - Sri Lankan shares lost steam on Wednesday after rallying for eleven straight sessions, weighed down by losses in financials and telecom stocks.

** The benchmark stock index closed down 0.15% at 5,772.1, after hitting a near seven-month high earlier in the session.

** Microfinance firm HNB Finance Ltd slid 11.8% and was the biggest drag on the index, while LOLC Development Finance Plc slumped 12.8%.

** Telecom company Dialog Axiata Plc slipped 1.7% and Sri Lanka Telecom Plc fell 1.9%.

** Ceylinco Insurance Plc climbed 8.2% and cigarette maker Ceylon Tobacco company added 1.1%, helping limit losses.

** Trading volume on the CSE All Share Index rose to 158.3 million from 134.2 million in the previous session.

** Foreign investors were net sellers in the equity market, offloading 189.7 million Sri Lankan rupees ($1.03 million) worth of shares, according to exchange data.

** The Sri Lankan rupee was last quoted at 184.8 against the U.S. dollar as of 1102 GMT, 0.27% stronger for the day compared to last session’s close of 185.3, according to Refinitiv data. The currency is down 1.93% so far this year.

** Equity market turnover was 2.15 billion Sri Lankan rupees, data showed.

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** For a report on major currencies, click ($1 = 184.9000 Sri Lankan rupees) (Reporting by Chris Thomas in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)